I hadn’t specifically considered that aspect of the story before, that the Aesir around Tyr are significantly responsible for Fenris’ reaction to being bound. In the retelling Thorn is discussing, it was not until the Aesir jeered at the wolf They feared that Fenris bit down on Tyr’s hand. I have a much more detailed understanding of the relationship between Tyr and Fenris than Thorn gets into there, but she is looking at the allegory, rather than the entities, so those details are not necessarily relevant here.
Relative to her allegory, I usually see the Aesir as Empire, and Fenris as a dangerous dissenter who is inclined to go too far in pushing against Them, thus putting other, more reasonable dissenters at risk. This reframing is interesting to me.
As to how to apply this to my own practice, well, hmm… In the past, Tyr has called me on my privilege, which is obviously valuable, but has told me not to seek Him directly because the angle from which I understand Justice – as Fairness – is not His, but belongs instead to Forseti and Freyr. It’s a pertinent distinction, but one that can be very hard to take. Sometimes Rightness isn’t pretty, isn’t lovely, doesn’t seem fair.
I know how I want to give when giving is my privilege, but what do I take when I’m not the one who has enough to share? It’s very easy to say that I know what the very rich should do, but those very rich aren’t my allies right now, and I can’t control their behavior, only my own. What will we not-rich do?
I am generally prepared to understand my role from the privileged perspective. I am comfortable with the need to understand that my own treatment of people less privileged than I am should be generous, kind, compassionate, and fair. That’s comparatively easy to assert. But what am I prepared to do to confront those who are as or more privileged than I am, but don’t behave so well? And what is fair – or when not fair, what is right – for me to do when I am the one being marginalized? What do I do when what is right is not fair, or when neither right nor fair are what’s safe and effective?
It’s very easy for me to say what I should do when I am the one with enough to share, when I am the one with the power, how I should use my power, my resources, for others’ sake, even if it’s not always so easy to actually follow through on my highest ideals. But it’s never so easy for me to discern how to guide others when we have so little influence on those with the power and resources. How do I guide my poor and marginalized congregants? Because yes, as clergy, part of my job IS to guide others. But I can’t do that well if I don’t know where to go next myself.